We had the good fortune of connecting with Endonezia Spears and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Endonezia, looking back, what do you think was the most difficult decision you’ve had to make?
The most difficult decision I ever had to make in my business was to rebrand. I think this was the hardest decision because it went against the norm, and the reaction from my supporters would be a direct result of my effort and creativity with my business.
To begin with, the rebrand came about because I did not want to continue to allow people to box me in and decide the future of my business. I had a lot of people who wanted me to strictly be a juicer and have a completely healthy brand. People often placed a responsibility on my shoulders of educating the community and being the guide to living a healthy life. It was very difficult to get people to understand that making juice and teaching about the benefits was not my main focus for my business. It definitely was a goal but I did not want it to overshadow my true vision.
It took a while before I decided to rebrand my business as more of a Healthyish everyday living brand. I wanted to be able to live my truth, especially being a girl from Louisiana who loves food and good drinks. I wanted to show the balance between healthy living while also having the freedom to eat and drink things you want. I wanted my brand to reflect the real life I live where one day I might eat mac & cheese and chicken and the other I’m making smoothies and eating cauliflower rice. I needed my business to be authentically me.
During this rebrand I am trying to branch off and offer services like Charcuterie Boards, Mimosa Bars, specialty cocktails, run a blog, and introduce merchandise . The hardest step was to decide to do it. I suffered from Imposter Syndrome and thinking my work was not good enough. I also worried about what people would think once they saw my ideas.
This whole new idea of what I wanted Thegirlwiththejuice to be was the hardest decision I had to make because it made me uncomfortable. I had a vision of how I wanted my business to look that went against what people already knew. I had to believe in myself while also convincing others this was the new me. I had to try new things and be okay with failing (and understand you could not skip the failing part of the process).
All in all, this move in my business did not happen overnight, and I am actually just getting started. It’s new and uncharted territory so it can be very difficult at times, especially since I do not have a model to follow. I’m trying to break generational curses and have a successful, non-traditional career.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Since I was a kid I have always been the child who was selling something or trying to find a way to make money. The spirit of business naturally runs through my blood so it was not a hard decision to start a business. Before Thegirlwiththejuice I created community service organizations, a small cooking business while on campus, and did many odd jobs or roles. When the idea of Thegirlwiththejuice came about I jumped at the opportunity because not only was no one else doing it, but it was fun. To continue, Thegirlwiththejuice was born during the start of the COVID-19 pandemic as I watched many influencers and small business owners across the country juice in their homes. As the pandemic continued I decided to buy my own juicer so that I could stop spending so much money on juice during the week. I started documenting my journey on Instagram and many people tuned in daily as I experimented with flavors and just got the hang of juicing. As you can see it started off as a hobby, but as I started to post recipes and get very good at the juices I received an overwhelming response from my followers. People wanted to purchase my personal juice from me and were throwing out numbers left and right. This is when I knew juicing was my next business move.
I immediately started selling juice and traveling to Walmart weekly for mason jars. I would post on Instagram every week about juice pickups and deliveries and I would sell out each time. I saw that there was a demand and started to take juicing more seriously. I invested in new bottles and labels and even got a new logo. I attended a few local Pop-Up shops and the response from the community really opened my eyes. A few business owners talked with me and gave advice about taking the next steps. After several weeks of orders and research I decided to apply for my LLC. I wanted ownership and I also wanted to show my customers that I had a plan.
I think what sets me apart is my creativity. I give any idea that comes to my brain a chance to live and I have fun. I let my creativity run freely and I don’t try to control the outcome. I got to where I am today through trial and error and learning about work life balance.
When I first started Thegirlwiththejuice there were many sleepless nights, and many days where I was running across town trying to complete tasks. I vividly remember the numerous conversations with my friends and boyfriend about self-care and making sure I was okay because I never had a chance for myself. I am very happy that I do not have those problems as much today.
My work life balance now is very healthy as I find myself planning my weeks ahead of time, planning content weeks in advance, having set days for recording, etc. I have invested in subscriptions that allow me to pre-schedule content so it can be posted automatically, and I make sure to work smarter not harder. I also use my planner for more than just writing down events and never looking back at it. I utilize my planner daily and also keep track of everything electronically. With these new methods I am able to have my social life back, have time for myself, and even have time for things to come up.
Once I learned how to manage my time this year I understood that its not as much of a balance as it is prioritization and having boundaries. I made clear boundaries for myself about not working after a certain time or working on certain days, and learning how to prioritze my tasks. Once I understood that I have been smooth sailing. Granted there are days that are not as smooth, but I have learned how to pivot without crying and complete the task at hand.
Overall, when looking at my brand I want people to see the hard work I put in to be successful and that anyone can step out on faith and follow their dreams. I want people to know that success doesn’t happen overnight and that you can always learn. Lastly, I am very excited to see what Thegirlwiththejuice can turn into. I am excited to start providing services for charcuterie boards, mimosa bars, and serving opportunities.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Although Lafayette is not a large city, there are a few things to do and good places to eat and drink. I have a very long list of places I would bring my friend to, and I’m sure we would not make it to every place.
Sunday- I would start with Stacy’s for their champagne bongs and live music or Market Eatz for their mimosa flights. We would then take a break by going downtown and walking the strip. Shortly after we would head to Kitchen on Klinton(K.O.K) for Sunday Funday. I would get the fish sliders with loaded fries and the Chicken Spit daiquiri.
Monday – Start with Another Broken egg and get the Supreme Omelette with a pitcher of Strawberry St.Germain mimosa. For lunch I would head over to Walk-Ons and get the Blueberry Coconut Mojito and the Death Valley. For food it would be the fried fish or the Hawaiian Pork Tacos. For drinks I would take my friend to World of Beer and get anything off the menu.
Tuesday- We would start with Lauras for breakfast, Tropical Smoothie for a snack (Bahama Mama, Pomegranate Plunge) and the chicken pesto sandwich. For fun we would visit surge where we could bowl, jump, play arcade games, and drink. If we wanted to sit and eat I would take us to Social Table and Bar.
Wednesday- We would start with Meche’s for doughnuts and kolaches, followed by Central Pizza for lunch. For a fun snack we would head to Billy’s for some boudin, pepper jack cheese balls, and cracklings. Later that night we would eat at Fezzos getting the spinach dip and half off martinis.
Thursday- Waffle House is where we would start with the All Star special. Lunch would be at El Paso as we got burritos and margaritas. We would head to my friend who owns Fatboyzkitchenla and get some great home cooked food, and stop by Morgossweettreats to get some cookies and other goodies. For dinner I would take my friend to DOZO to enjoy some hibachi and stop by New Orleans Daiquiri and Daiquiri Supreme for drinks.
Friday- we would start at Zeas and I would make sure to get the corn grits and short ribs. Lunch would be at NIH (Taste of Asia) where I would get the ramen and some sushi. I would stop by Carpe diem for some gelato and hang out at grad park to sit by the pond and feed the ducks. Don’s would be the next stop for their oysters and drinks (Swamp Water, Ponchatoula Paloma, Old Fashioned, Blueberry Mule). We would then head downtown to Marleys or legends and get the half and half margaritas and party.
Saturday- we would eat at Shintos, Hawaii Grill, and La Papa Loca.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I definitely want to thank God for the ability to create this business. I want to also dedicate this shoutout to my family, friends, and supporters who continue to motivate me throughout this process. It definitely takes a village and without their constant prayers and support I do not know where I would be. And last but definitely not least thanks to Shayla who recommended me for this shoutout. I had no idea she would recommend me and it definitely made my heart smile to see friends supporting me behind closed doors.